The story so farâ€¦. Clint Reno has been hired by Eddie Costello. He has been very respectful and has not patted him on the head or admitted that he canâ€™t remember any of his hits. Eddie seems to be worried. He heads up a worldwide franchise operation of fifty million Elvis Presley impersonators. But another Elvis has turned upâ€¦.
I couldnâ€™t see the significance of another Elvis bursting onto the world of impersonators.
â€˜OK, so youâ€™ve now got fifty million and one Elvisâ€™s. I wouldnâ€™t have thought the market would be suddenly flooded.â€™
â€˜No, you see, the thing is this guy is different, a bit strange. He takes it all very seriously. He says he IS Elvis. He doesnâ€™t look anything like him. Heâ€™s just an old guy. Doesnâ€™t even sing any rock and roll stuff! I mean, what kind of Elvis impersonator is that? It could give the industry a bad name. Customers donâ€™t want to see some old bloke shuffling on stage in a cardigan and slacks and not singing.â€™
I sensed there was more. â€˜But heâ€™s just one act, Mr Costello, just one poor actâ€¦â€™
â€˜Well, you know, we can take a joke as well as the next exploitation racket. And business is still booming. But this guy is very persistent. He isnâ€™t kidding. Heâ€™s refusing to pay his subscription or take out an Elvis licence. Crissakes, heâ€™s even started suggesting that we owe him money for performing all those Elvis songs over the past 30 years. This could ruin us if it turned outâ€¦..â€™
â€˜If? Are you suggesting that Elvis isnâ€™t six foot under? That heâ€™s just gone to ground for the past 30 years? Youâ€™re not suggesting that he really IS Elvis, are you?â€™
â€˜Well, no, of course not. He probably isnâ€™t Elvis. I mean, you know, he almost certainly isnâ€™t. I mean, definitely isnâ€™t. But what if he is? We need to know. We might be able to buy him off, or something.â€™
â€˜Buy him off? I would have thought that you guys would be pleased to see him return? Youâ€™re almost like his disciples.â€™
â€˜Look, chum. Itâ€™s just business. For what itâ€™s worth, Iâ€™m not a great fan of his stuff. Some of his records are fine. The lyrics are pretty easy to remember. His movies are pretty hopeless. But thatâ€™s not the point. The Elvis brand has become very valuable. Elvis didnâ€™t do too badly when he was alive, but heâ€™s done even better when heâ€™s been dead.â€™
â€˜Is deadâ€™, he added hastily.
â€˜And youâ€™re worried that a born-again Elvis would spoil business?â€™
â€˜Yeah, weâ€™d be ruined. Sure, RCA would be sitting pretty. Imagine. A surprise live album! And, heâ€™d probably die again sometime â€“ well, he be bound to - and all those old records would be back in the charts! But weâ€™d be finished. Woe would be us, if you like. Who would want to see an impersonator when they can se the real thing anytime on TV advertising chairlifts or cheap car insurance?â€™ I mean, the image, the brand identity would be destroyed for ever. Iâ€™d have to find something elseâ€¦
â€˜Like a Freddie and the Dreamers tribute band?â€™
He shuddered, as if the seriousness of his situation had just hit him. â€˜Well, Iâ€™d like to think that weâ€™re a long way from that sort of thingâ€¦..â€™ He didnâ€™t look convinced.
â€˜Iâ€™m sorry, Mr Costello, but Iâ€™m still not clear what it is you want me to do. Why donâ€™t you just get in touch with the police? They have specialists who are used to identifying lost celebrities. Why me?â€™
â€˜Look. No one knows much about this just now. The guyâ€™s a bit screwy. But itâ€™s just a matter of time before he gets wise and speaks to the press. Heâ€™s probably just a phoney, but we need to know. We need someone to quietly investigate this guy. Use your discretion. Report back to us and then we can decide the best way to move. Ignore the guy, buy shares in RCA, orâ€¦.â€™ His voice tailed off.
â€˜Well, whatever. Thereâ€™s no point burning your bridges until you come to them.â€™
I'm still waiting for Clint Reno to file his next report (that's the trouble with using subcontractors - you lose a bit of control). In the meantime, I did manage to get a sort of an interview with someone that sort of has something to do with music.
I was browsing in Asda for some socks when I got talking to Alice C, the famous Parisian clothes designer. I know, me neither. Possibly she was looking for inspiration from some of â€œGeorge at Asdaâ€™sâ€
At last, the SOTW interview has gone overseas. Itâ€™s long been a problem, waiting for international stars to make an appearance in Fife. But, as part of a cultural exchange visit organised by the Goat Marketing Board, I was able to wangle a free trip to, of all places, Uzbekistan! At first, I wasnâ€™t too sure if there were any famous Uzbek musicians, or if they just had to import all their pop songs. But then, as I gazed at the current SOTW album of the month, I remembered that Sevara comes from Uzbekistan.
To be honest, I havenâ€™t actually heard her latest album yet. But I have clear memories of her previous album, â€˜Yol Bolsinâ€™. Droning, dull, turgid, solemn, ponderous, stilted, mind-numbing, humdrum, wearisome, dreary, tedious, lacklustre, lifeless, insipid, tiresome, monotonous, arid, bland, drab, flat, jejune, limp, nebbish, stale, vapid, vacuous, puerile, callow, slow, and gloomy. These are not words that I would use to describe it. Not at all. Indeed, quite the opposite. After some time pondering the matter, â€˜atmosphericâ€™ would appear to be more acceptable. But what was most memorable about the album was the startling front cover. This showed a young woman, hideously deformed. Otherwise attractive, it was clear that the poor girl was spectacularly tall. At least 16 feet tall, I reckoned. It was possible that, under her long red robe, she was simply wearing high heels, or stilts. But it seemed more likely that her deformity was due to some traditional Uzbek stretching ceremony.
I had already seen the Borat DVD, but I watched it again with renewed interest. Would Sevara have a pet bear? Or a horse-drawn limosine? Is Uzbekistan the same place as Kazakstan? And what about Turkistan?
I wonâ€™t bore you with all the details of my long journey from Fife to Uzbekistan. Paris, Vienna, Athensâ€¦ These were all places that I had seen on TV. Unfortunately I spent most of my journey fast asleep and hardly saw any these places. All I will say is that the legendary so-called Silk Road is something of a disappointment. As far as I could tell, it is largely made up of tarmac and rubble.
But my interest was awakened as we drove into the capital city of Tashkent. It quickly became apparent that there are marked contrasts between Fife and Uzbekistan. An inward-looking culture and a reluctance to engage with the outside world, together with crushing poverty and a poor education system, has resulted in widespread alcoholism, and a flourishing market in the lethal but cheap â€˜home madeâ€™ vodka. There are also the slightly bizarre sightings of burned-out tractors littering the depressed landscape. Uzbekistan, on the other hand, came across as a delightful place, with tree-lined streets, pleasant parks, and numerous fountains throughout the centre of Tashkent. The Uzbeks also have a remarkably sunny disposition. None of the men are called Stan, and the women are particularly cheerful and of normal height. Outwardly quiet and demure, I couldnâ€™t help noticing that as I entered a room they would all break out in peals of laughter. It made a stranger feel most welcome.
I made my way to the Pakhtakor district, using Tashkentâ€™s impressive metro system. At first, I was convinced that Iâ€™d come to the wrong house. It was a modest mansion, with a normal-sized door. Surely Sevara wouldnâ€™t want to stoop every time she wanted to welcome important foreign visitors? Had I come to the wrong house? My doubts increased as the door opened slowly and an aged crone peered round the gap. Stumpy in height, stumpy in teeth, I was almost stumped for words at this hideous sight. This was not the Sevara Iâ€™d come to expect from her album sleeve. Three blackened teeth, leathery skin, and wrinkles like a malnourished Shar-Pei. I started to wonder at the remarkable transformation that could be achieved with a bit of make-up and a long red dress, but it then became apparent that this was not Sevara.
Ehâ€¦ could I speak to Sevara, please? She no here. She gone.
Oh. She good girl. Look after her mama.
Oh right! Youâ€™re her mum! Well, thatâ€™s nice. Yes, she looks just like you. Ehâ€¦ whereâ€™s she gone then? Has she just gone to the shops or something? She go Fife.
Fife? Is small town in north of England. Fife.
Yes I know. Well, itâ€™s not a town really, but â€¦.Fife? Why has she gone to Fife? She want interview. She Chally record of month. Very proud. She crush Gordon.
Gosh. Really? You mean, she has a crush on â€¦erâ€¦ this Gordon? No. She just want to crush him. She no like. He silly boy. She put stop to nonsense.
Oh. Rightâ€¦. ehâ€¦ could I interview you then Mrs Sevara? Just a few thoughts on your daughterâ€™s career, her main influences, the way in which she has tried to blend traditional Uzbek melodies with Western sensibilities? You know, allowing an ancient tradition to breathe, using 15th Century lutes, that sort of stuff? Sure. You ask me questions. I like very much.
Oh great. Thanks for being such a sport. Ehâ€¦ rightâ€¦. what do you think of her latest album? I like very much. She a good girl.
Do you think that it symbolises the position of Uzbekistan itself, as a meeting between old and new? Would you agree that this dichotomy exists within Sevaraâ€™s own oeuvre? I donâ€™t know. But she does like eggs, yes.
And sheâ€™s quite tall, isnâ€™t she? I mean, how tall would you say she is? Yes. She a good girl. She look after her mama. She very good.
And I couldnâ€™t help noticing your door. Thereâ€™s been no adaptations to accommodate her special needs? Yes. Nice door. Is very good.
Do tall people run in your family? Sometimes, yes.
And would you say that her latest album represents a quantum leap forward from her previous efforts? I donâ€™t know. She not jumping much nowadays. Not since she a little girl.
Or would you say that itâ€™s much the same as her other stuff? Is hard to say.
Oh. Why is that? My Ingleesh not so good, no.
Not at all. Itâ€™s much better than myâ€¦ ehâ€¦.. what language do you speak? What?
I was wondering what language you speak. I speak the Ingleesh. Is no good, no? You no like?
No, no. Itâ€™s fine. Ehâ€¦.. You like my autograph? $5, no? Or I sign as â€˜Sevaraâ€™, $10.
Eh, no. But thanks, I appreciate the offer. Ehâ€¦ would you like mine? No. I no need.
Well, anyway, nice to have met you Mrs Sevara. That was fairly useful. Could you by any chanceâ€¦..?
And that was that. With a simple closing of the door, Mrs Sevara had also brought the interview to a close, perhaps symbolising the barriers between East and West. I found myself touched by this simple gesture, considerately relieving me of any need for awkward farewells or promises of reciprocal visits. But I was also struck by its sheer physicality, serving as a barrier to a curious outside world. A barrier which I had been able to examine at first hand.
They do say that travelling is better than arriving, and my recent experiences bore this out. But it was not all wasted. I had learned some valuable lessons, such as the increasing importance of modern technology in journalism. The telephone, for example. And I had gained a unique insight into Severaâ€™s background, her door, and the aged crone which one day she will undoubtedly become. True, I hadnâ€™t resolved the issue of her freakish height. But, somehow, it seemed best to leave this one remaining mystery, part of the enigma that is Sevara.
Thanks Howard, you almost lapsed into a star-rating system there.
Funnily enough, I actually like Sevara's 'Yol Bolsin' album. But that wouldn't have been particulary funny. It was one of the first World CDs I got (having discovered a radio programme by a Mr C. Gillett). I really must get round to hearing her new one...
Celebrity Corner Jeremy Clarkson reviews Orchestra Baobabâ€™s Made In Dakar, as told to Gordon Neill.
This sort of thing isnâ€™t normally my cup of tea, but Iâ€™ve been to Dakar often enough and Iâ€™ve nothing but admiration for the people there. If youâ€™re going to drive halfway across the Sahara, itâ€™s as good a place as any to fill her up and get a pack of sandwiches for the return journey. So I was pleased to see this new venture from the Daktaris.
It is expensive, but just look at what you get for your Â£11.99. The build quality is awesome. Iâ€™ve never seen anything like it. Beautifully put together, clever attention to detail and, at the business end, a state-of the-art aluminium disc. This little beauty can stand up to a lifetimeâ€™s punishment and still come up as good as new with a quick wipe. Thereâ€™s even, and youâ€™re going to love this, a central vent to stop condensation! This is a serious bit of kit. True, the lavish use of primary colours is about as subtle as Paris Hiltonâ€™s knickers. But these things are subjective. Some people like things that can be seen from a distance. The visually-impaired, indeed Paris herself, I daresay.
But isnâ€™t this all a bit over the top? Look at the packaging, for a start. It comes in polythene. Fine. Then youâ€™re faced with a cardboard sleeve. Why? And then, just as you chuck this in the bin, what do you find? Yup! More packaging. My God, even the heir to the throne gets less protection than this! And this last oneâ€™s a beauty, a stonking great big plastic casing. This is built to last. Believe me, if an asteroid ever plunges into Western civilisation, this will survive. Do we really want future archeologists calling us the â€˜Coaster Peopleâ€™? And then, get this, it is only now that you get to the instruction manual. Stupid people need manuals. At the start. Before they plug it in while having a shower and whistling â€˜Raindrops Keep Falling On My Headâ€™. Someone, somewhere hasnâ€™t thought this through.
Not that I could give a stuff about their environment. The Daktaris will just have to find something else to make their spears with. But it is such a waste of effort. Look at Brunel. Look at the Clifton suspension bridge. Nothing wasted, every nut and bolt there for a reason. But, by the time you actually get to this thing, the moment has passed. Itâ€™s like finding out that your date is not only wearing a garish galosh, but youâ€™ve got to make your way through trousers, tights, heavy-duty knickers, and a chastity belt. After all that, youâ€™d both have a headache.
And thatâ€™s the point. Yes, this does â€“ eventually - get the job done. But do real men care if their drinks leave a mark on the mantelpiece or the occasional furniture? Does it matter? Even if it did, the missus will always be there to give it a wipe. Do they even have mantelpieces in Dakar? Or am I missing something?
I bumped into Pietra by one of those happy accidents. I was trying to make my way back from Kazakhstan to Fife, via the A92. However, I think I must have taken the wrong turning and discovered that all roads really do lead to Rome (or, possibly, go away from Fife). And that if you keep insisting that you know where youâ€™re going, and donâ€™t need to stop and ask someone for directions, then you end up driving down the cul de sac of Europe and have to do a three-point turn in Naples without getting your hubcaps stolen.
But, for some reason, as I took in the views of the heavily smoking Krakatoa, with its fiery reputation, and the ancient ruins of the Acropolis, I found myself thinking of Pietra Montecorvino. She comes from Naples and did a pretty good album years ago. So I decided there and then to seek her out and try to make a silk purse out of a molehill. As I chased her down the street, she very kindly stopped to get her breath back and took some time out of her busy schedule to share some of her thoughts.
Hi Pietra, itâ€™s very nice to meet you. Yes, thank you. And you too. Goodbye.
Merry Christmas, Pietra. Whaddya mean â€˜Merry Christmas?â€™ Eets only November.
No, no. This is supposed to be going out on Christmas Day on SOTW. All these Christmas specials get prerecorded, you know. Oh, OK, I understand. Merry Christmas. Bye-bye.
I got you a present. Ta. Ciao.
Arenâ€™t you going to open it? But it isnâ€™t Christmas yet!
No, no. Remember? Itâ€™s all prerecorded. Oh, yeah yeah. Hmm. What is this â€˜Ker-Plunkâ€™? I never see this before.
Eh, itâ€™s a game thing. Children love it. But Camille already had one soâ€¦.. Anyway, the idea is that you have to move these little sticks without disturbing the other ones and losing your marbles. The winner isâ€¦ Ah yes! This is like the morning after an orgy, yes?
Ehâ€¦ well, Iâ€™m not very sureâ€¦. I havenâ€™t actually seen the Italian versionâ€¦. Yes! You need to get up during the night for a leetle glass of water or something, but you donâ€™t want to wake anyone upâ€¦ Yes, you need to be very careful. Very good for practice. Thank you. Adios.
Ehâ€¦. did you get me anything? No.
Oh. Well I didnâ€™t know you were coming. As I say in the morning when Iâ€™m trying to get a drink of water! Ha ha!
No worries. It doesnâ€™t reallyâ€¦ No, no, wait. Here. You can have these. Adieu.
Oh thanks Chocolate cigarettes. I havenâ€™t seen these for years. Yes, I got them last Christmas, but I found them very disappointing. They kept melting. Now, if you donâ€™t mind Iâ€™m very busy and Iâ€¦
No, youâ€™re not supposed toâ€¦.. oh, it doesnâ€™t matter. Well goodbye thenâ€¦.
I was wanting to ask you about your latest album. Right. What do want to know?
Well, do you have a latest album? No. Bye-bye.
Why not? I dunno. Canâ€™t be bothered, I suppose. Anything else you want to know, before you go?
Well, I was wondering if you know anything about tarantella music? I was reading a magazine about it and.... Nope. Never heard of it. Now, see you later alligator. Yes?.
You know. The tarantella tradition. Its history goes back to ancient times. Nurtured for centuries by men who work the land by dayâ€¦ How dâ€™you mean? â€˜Work the landâ€™?
Well, I dunno. Farmers I suppose. Digging holes and things. And getting bitten by spiders and, you know, singing songs to get betterâ€¦.. Oh you mean all that touristy crap?
Well, I wouldnâ€™t say â€˜touristyâ€™â€¦ That drives me nuts. You know, I was in Salento the other day, for a bit of shopping. You could hardly move for bloody journalists and interviewers. Talking, talking, talking. The place was polluted with them. All these stupid posh foreigners asking all these silly questions and buying their stupid knicky knackies. By the time I got to the off-licence, it was shut. Really pisses me off, I can tell you.
But some of itâ€™s not too bad you know. Itâ€™s rubbish. Why you waste your life on all this stuff? Eh? Forget all this spider crap. Listen to proper pop music. Get yourself a girlfriend and settle down.
Ehâ€¦ well, actually, I was just wonderingâ€¦. What?
Well, you knowâ€¦. Unless youâ€™re already spoken forâ€¦ You must be joking! Iâ€™m not Carla Bruni, you know. Now, you go. Yes?
I know youâ€™re not Carla Bruni. Sheâ€™s a lot moreâ€¦well, you know, much moreâ€¦â€¦ Anyway, if you want, I could put in a good word for you with Gordon Brown. Heâ€™s a neo-politician, just like you. And a bit more impressive than some French President. That would really get one over Carla. That would show her. And heâ€™s only got the one eye so, you know, he mightâ€¦.. Pardon?
Well, anyway, I suppose I better get on my way. I got myself a bit lost earlier. Iâ€™m trying to get back on to the A92. If you could just tell me where to go. With pleasure!
Life is full of coincidences. Iâ€™d never met Posh Spice before, but a couple of weeks ago I was honoured by being asked to help her break into a new career of writing CD reviews for fRoots. I think I made a decent stab at transcribing her thoughts on Devon Sprouleâ€™s â€˜Keep Your Silver Shinedâ€™. But, no sooner had I put it all behind me, when I bumped into her yet again. She was at my local Tescos, doing a magazine signing. I joined the queue by mistake, thinking it was the one for six-items-or-less. As I neared the front, I realised my mistake. I didnâ€™t recognise her at first but, quick on my feet as ever, I managed to get another exclusive SOTW interview.
Hi, is the till broken? I just want this pack of crayons. Iâ€™ve got the right money. Eh, I think youâ€™re in the wrong queue. This is for me signing a magazine.
Oh right, sorry. Ehâ€¦ isnâ€™t it usually a book signing? I donâ€™t do books. But Iâ€™ve read a few magazines, like Hello and the Radio Times. Do you want me to sign your comic for you?
This isnâ€™t a comic. Itâ€™s fRoots. The essential worldwide roots music guide. Oh right! Yes, I know. Theyâ€¦.
Itâ€™s only Â£4.50 from all enthusiastic record shops. Yes, it was just thatâ€¦
Or only Â£46 for an annual subscription. Yes. Yes. I know. fRoots. Weâ€™ve met before, havenâ€™t we?
No. I donâ€™t think so. Although Iâ€™ve met quite a few pop stars. It can be easy to get them mixed up at times. Although some of them get mixed up more easily than others. I canâ€™t believe that youâ€™ve forgotten me.
Huh? fRoots? The CD review? You were supposed to be helping me?
Oh, hang on. Itâ€™s coming back to me now. Yes, we have met before. I translated that CD review that you did, didnâ€™t I? Yes, thatâ€™s right. I was well pissed off with it.
Why? I thought it was really good. Yeah, I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ll be doing that again. I thought I was going to get a six-page spread, with lots of photos and everything. But it just ended up as half a page at the back. And, after all that hassaw, I just got paid a Â£10 record token.
Well, you are pretty famous, so itâ€™s only fair you would be on top rates. And some of what I said was taken completely out of contest. It made me look right stupid. David is totally furious. I thought I could have trusted you!
You can, you can. It was just thatâ€¦. it must have beenâ€¦ erâ€¦â€¦ changedâ€¦yes, it was sabotaged. Sabotaged?
Yes. Thereâ€™sâ€¦ eh... thereâ€™s a lot of professional jealousy in the pop music story writing business. Really? So who would have sabotaged my piece then?
Ehâ€¦ oh I donâ€™t knowâ€¦â€¦.. it would probably beâ€¦ ehâ€¦.. let me thinkâ€¦ehâ€¦. Renton. Yes, Jamie Renton. Heâ€™s the one you want to see. Heâ€™s like that. OK. Iâ€™ll write that down. â€˜Jamie Revlonâ€™. Iâ€™ll tell you, David is going to knock his bloody block off.
Oh thatâ€™s fine. Jamieâ€™s used to robust criticism. Iâ€™m sure heâ€™ll take it on the chin. Yeah, I know he will. Right smack on the bloody chin! Nobodyâ€™s got the right to make a fool out of me. Iâ€™m a self-made woman, donâ€™t you know.
I can assure you, Posh, the readers will have just as much respect for you now as they ever did. Well, thatâ€™s nice of you. Thanks. But there was so much stuff that was missed out.
Like what? Well, you know, like all my fashion and beauty tips. Like always having your mouth slightly open when theyâ€™re taking photos.
Yeah, why do you do that? The boys go for that. Itâ€™s like seeing the door slightly open in an empty house. â€˜With all the lights switched offâ€™, Geri says. I donâ€™t know why she says that. But it gets the boys interested. They just want to go inside and wander about.
Yes. Gordon Brown does that mouth thing as well. But I canâ€™t say Iâ€™ve ever had the urge. Oh I think heâ€™s quite sweet, really. I signed his magazine a few minutes ago. He was really very charming. I think I caught his eye.
Well as long as he got it back, thereâ€™s no harm done. Sorry?
Do you have any plans after the recent successful tour to end the Spice Girls forever? Oh, I dunno. I might start a new band.
Maybe call them the Adams Family? No. That wouldnâ€™t work. Iâ€™m Mrs Beckham now. Adams was my maiden name. It would have to be the Beckham Family. But anyway I probably wouldnâ€™t have enough time for singing. Iâ€™ve got so many projects on the go, like being a TV interviewer, and a fashion model. And a magazine writer. Whoâ€™s name do you want on it?
Huh? The magazine. Whoâ€™s name should I put on it? Your name, perhaps?
No, no. Ehâ€¦ if you could just put â€˜Gâ€™. Yes, â€˜love from Posh to Gâ€™. That would be fine. â€˜Gâ€™?
Ehâ€¦. yes. It stands for... um.... â€˜Gwendolynâ€™. I could write â€˜Gwendolynâ€™ on it if you want. If you helped me with the spelling.
No, no. Ehâ€¦.. although, actually, maybe you could make it â€˜GNâ€™. â€˜GNâ€™?
Yes, itâ€™s short for â€˜Gwendolynâ€™. I could write â€˜Gwenâ€™.
No. Sheâ€™s never been a â€˜Gwenâ€™, we just call her â€˜GNâ€™. â€˜GNâ€™?
Yes, sheâ€™s a martyr to constipation. Oh.
So, are you a big fan of world music? No, Iâ€˜ve lost quite a lot of weight recently.
I meantâ€¦. Yes, Iâ€™ve been on this new diet, where you just have a bowl of steam and some diluted water. Anyway, itâ€™s really great meeting you again, George. But I better crack onâ€¦..
So there we have it. Another pop star is inducted into the SOTW Hall of Fame. And I must confess to a sneaking admiration for Posh. She isnâ€™t as daft as she likes to make out and was quite happy to play along with my bumbling interview style. Iâ€™ll still not be buying any of her records though.
Hi, Mariza. SOTW. Can I have a few minutes? Sure. Iâ€™m always happy to talk to the press.
That was a great performance by you in that live album in Lisbon. You must be feeling pretty pleased at the way things went. Yeah, well thereâ€™s no easy games nowadays, but we was always confident that we could get a result. The lads was really up for it.
You must be over the moon. Yeah, Iâ€™m sure the gaffer will let us have a few beers tonightâ€¦.
Although youâ€™re not actually as tall as that? No.
And I believe youâ€™re about to sign with Manchester United. No, not at all.
Câ€™mon Mariza, itâ€™s all over the press. Well, fRoots. On the back page. You know, the sports section. No, donâ€™t be silly. Iâ€™m a singer, a lady singer.
But youâ€™ve been photographed with Sir Alex. Yes I did meet him for dinner, but it was just an informal get together just to talk about the wholesale prices of Port. We never discussed any football contracts or nothing. Iâ€™m very happy where I am. I just leave these matters to my agent.
So you are thinking of signing for Manchester then? No, Iâ€™ve not made any firm decisions. Iâ€™m keeping my options open, obviously. Singing can be a short career. But thereâ€™s no way that I could think of becoming a proper footballer! No, at this stage, I think itâ€™s more likely that I would sign for Newcastle.
Newcastle? You must be joking. I know Keegan talks a good game, but heâ€™s all mouth and no trousers. Well, yes. Thatâ€™s one of the things thatâ€™s attracted me to Newcastle.
But I thought youâ€™d fit in better at Man. Utd. All those Portuguese players. But Iâ€™m not sure that red would suit me. No, I think Iâ€™d prefer the Newcastle strip. I like those black and white strips.
I think they might make you look even taller. And you get a free hairdryer from Sir Alex. Well, who knows what will happen. But, at the moment, I just want to do my best for my team and leave these things till the end of the season.
How tall are you? Sorry?
I mean, you look like centre forward material to me. Iâ€¦ erâ€¦. What are you doing?
Itâ€™s OK, Iâ€™m just measuring youâ€¦. thatâ€™sâ€¦.. wow!.... 6 feet 5 inches. If youâ€™re quite happy, could we â€¦..
Do you know how tall are you when youâ€™re standing up? Really! In my country itâ€™s rude to ask a lady questions like that.
OK, sorry. No need to get on your high horse. Is there anything else you want to ask me.
No. I donâ€™t think so. Just my height and if Iâ€™m signing for Manchester United?
Ehâ€¦â€¦. have you ever been described as a sleeping giant? No.
OK. Ehâ€¦. are you working on a new album? Yes. Weâ€™re really looking forward to it. The boys are really up for it. Although we know that weâ€™ll be facing some tough well-organised songs. Weâ€™ve no illusions about that.
So are you a bit worried about your chances of getting through to the next album? No, not at all. If you donâ€™t think you can win, thereâ€™s no point getting out of bed at the end of the day.
So have you worked out your tactics? Well, you know, weâ€™ll just take it one song at a time. By the end of the album weâ€™ll be there or thereabouts.
Itâ€™s still early doors, but youâ€™re on a bit of a cup run, with a string of super album performances. Thereâ€™s always the risk of coming up against â€¦erâ€¦. you know â€¦. giant killersâ€¦â€¦ but do you think you can go all the way? Wellâ€¦ I donâ€™t know. Not on the first date. And anyway Kevin hasnâ€™t even asked me out yetâ€¦.
No, no. I mean do you think youâ€™ll end up as the undisputed Fado champion of.. you knowâ€¦ er â€¦.. Fado land? Well, itâ€™s a long season, more of a marathon than a sprint. But if we keep putting in the effort, I think we might end up in the top three, but Iâ€™m not sure if we can go any higher.
Well, thanks Mariza. Is there anything youâ€™d like to add? You could have asked me about being worried about exposing myself at the back or being tackled from behind.
Oh, sorry. Yes, those are good ones. Iâ€™ll try and use them some other time. Yeah, whatever.
Gordon Neill wrote: I really must get round to hearing her new one...
Maybe make your decision when my next compilation comes around in July, Gordon, although of course I reckon I chose the best track so no matter how much you like it, you'll still be wondering if the rest is as good.
I've been wondering when you'll be getting around to addressing the conundrum that is Natasha Atlas. Have you seen her, on the front cover of Songlines (and soon to be on fRoots too). Something has happened.